Thanksgiving Week 2018

This was an absolute fabulous week with some good time off from work. On Monday night I took the kids to Classic Fun Center for some skating. Liam brought his scooter and cruised around while I pushed Seneca around the rink walking behind her. The kids had so much fun and on our drive home Seneca made me laugh so hard by saying her name while Liam was trying to talk, making him so mad. I left work early on Wednesday to start my weekend off early.

On Thursday my parents came out as well as my aunt Diana and uncle Ted and we had amazing dinner that Angie prepared. My father seemed to be doing so much better and the kids absolutely loved hanging out with him. On Friday I spend the day at home just hanging out with the kids and helping Angie get the Christmas decorations set up. On Saturday I took the kids to the Grinch Movie, which was Seneca’s first movie. Here are  some great photos from this week:

On a separate note, I was able to qualify for Presidents Club with my October results, leaving 2 extra months to add to my GM for the year. We just created a new compensation plan that hopefully will allow me to be in the top Tier for compensation next year and improve my results. I really want to have a good year of adding to my portfolio and creating plenty of residual income. Bitcoin has been crashing, down from $11,000 last year to under $4000 this week. It is a great lesson for me to watch all of this and make sure I know that I need to stay clear of speculation.

Seneca’s 2nd Birthday and Halloween

2 years ago today, just as the sun was peeking over the mountains, my little bug Seneca was born. Every day that I’m at work I think about her and my wife sends me photos of the cute things she does during the day, then I rush home to spend a few hours with her before bed time. Every night for the last year I tuck her under my arm and lay with her until she is sleepy while I focus on enjoying that moment. She loves Fairies and my wife has the most amazing party set up for her today, and has a Tinkerbell costume for Halloween. She loves music and dancing and does Zumbini (kids Zumba) with her mommy. She loves her cat Wowse and brother Liam, and they all get along great. Liam even decided to forgo being Darth Maul so he could be Peter Pan for his little sister on Halloween. She even loves to rough house and wrestle with dad. And of course all the moves I used to do with Liam (throws and flips onto the bed) are now fun for her too. I love you my little Sunshine, you brighten every day!

 

What a fun month October was for our little family. Seneca finally turned 2 years old, sometimes it feels like time goes by so quickly but also I feel like I savor and hold onto every moment I can. Angela had a fun time preparing for Seneca’s 2 year party,  it was a fairy theme party and she did a great job preparing for it and making all kinds of cute  things. We had a smaller party this year with only family members and Alexa/Sparrow. The kids had fairy wings and we did some Zumbini, made crafts, ate dinner and Angie made a homemade cake. It was so fun spending time with my little girl, and my father came down without my mother (she was sick). Seneca has a great bond with my father and calls him Bumpa (Grandpa). She also started saying “Happy Seneca”, then “Happy to Seneca” and finally “Happy Birthday Seneca”. She is saying new words all of the time and it is the cutest thing. Today she said she wants to get dressed, and she says ‘dowel’ (towel).

Halloween was great as well. I took the day off from work and spent it with my daughter. After I worked out i got her dressed in her fairy princess outfit and took her to my work. She got it down quickly and scored more candy in 20 minutes than she could tote around in her little Halloween bag. After that we took her to the Aquarium for about 30 minutes and then we went to Liam’s school and watched him in his parade. We got Papa Johns Pizza and cooked that up before we went trick or treating around the street. She absolutely loved it and had so much fun, it just brightened up her face when I said ‘lets go trick or treating’!

October is in full swing

Well, the weather outside is chilly and we’re deep into fall. I’ve just barely put away all of the lawn and outdoor stuff and preparing for the winter. This weekend I built some new shelves for the garage to keep it more organized and looking nice. Seneca is about 10 days from being 2 years old and she is as cute as ever. She has so many new words and I just love how she says things. She is so polite and always saying “please” and especially “thank you!” whenever someone gives her something. She hasn’t learnt her colors yet and if I ask her what color something is, she always says ‘blue’. Lately she has been saying “I see ghosts” and “I see cows”, haha, I love that! She still absolutely loves Fairies and we have a costume for her and Liam to be Peter Pan and Tinkerbell. Liam and Seneca play so well together and Liam is learning a lot in Kindergarten, he is so good with his words. The stock market has been week lately but my investments have done rather well over the last year, I’ve definitely made some good progress towards the future, while also learning a lot and building up my own ideas on things. Work has been going well too, I’ve been in the lead for quite a while and my 2019 pipeline looks good, and I’ll qualify for Presidents Club by the end of this month. I’ve been staying fit by riding as well as getting back into Jiu Jitsu.

The Fairy Forest

This past week was amazing and I got an unexpected surprise. On Tuesday Angie gave me a little box with something so incredible and amazing yet, I can’t speak of it right now. I was completely caught off guard in a good way because I had always wanted to experience that type of unexpectedness. This past week I’ve been thinking about how our family will change and grow over the next few years and how we can prepare for that.

On Sunday, Angie and I took the kids up to the canyon in Kamas and met up with Alexa and found a place called the Fairy Forest which was so fun to let the kids run around and explore. We played around for an hour and a half then came back to Salt Lake and ate at BGR in Sugarhouse.

 

Labor Day Weekend 2018

We had a spectacular Labor Day weekend and had a lot of fun things to do. I worked hard on Saturday to build a second bench for the backyard but then that left me enough time to enjoy the rest of the weekend with the family. A few weeks back when we were doing our family photo shoots, I saw a bench idea out at Day Break and it gave me some good ideas. The first one took me a couple of days to complete but I really wanted to finish the second one in one day so I would have the rest of the weekend, but it was exhausting work.

On Sunday we had the day to enjoy at Lagoon. I went for a bike ride during the morning and had time to take a quick nap then head out. We had an absolute blast and Seneca really enjoyed riding on all of the rides with Liam. The weather was perfect and we stayed until the very end, the kids were so exhausted and fell asleep on the way home. This past week my parents stopped in and stayed the night and were able to play with the kids. I had an Xray on my kidney stone and it didn’t show up, it’s quite a mystery that it dissolved, and hopefully it did just that. Yesterday I went on a 100 mile bike ride and the miles went by quickly, then we I hung out with Liam for most of the day. We put a blanket out under the stars with Seneca and watched planes fly by.

Seneca is now 23 months and so fun, I love watching her learn things. Her biggest passion is for Fairies and I sit with her and watch the Tinkerbell movies on Netflix. She has several friends to play with including Aya and Sparrow. She loves her grandpa and grandma and likes to say ‘hi ma ma’ and ‘hi bumpa’. Lately she has been fascinated with putting on her shoes herself. She hasn’t quite got it down but every morning she tries. She loves looking at bugs and bees. She loves Moana and Frozen. She likes to say ‘beeshoe’ (meaning shooo bee’s) to get the bugs away.

Liam started Kindergarten last week and was sad the first day but quickly got acclimated and now has a lot of stories to tell and new friends he talks about.

My Birthday and turning 44

Well I certainly had an exciting birthday due to a kidney stone. I had planned to take off Thurs and Friday from work, but still work on my birthday. When I got to work I started feeling some dull pains in my abdomen which made it hard for me to concentrate, I had to leave work and come home to have my wife take me to an appointment, but by the time I got there they told me to turn around and go to the ER. Once I got there they gave me some pain meds, did a CT scan and told me that I had a 5mm kidney stone. They sent me home with some meds and told me to pass it. After that the pain went away but I have yet to pass the stone and am unsure I will be able to without some type of intervention. I’ve been drinking apple cider vinegar and lemon juice in the mean time.

Later in the day we went out to dinner at JC’s Sushi, which was a blast with the kids. On Thursday I felt a little bit better and was able to do a light workout, then mow the lawn and in the evening we went to an 80′s concert and took Seneca to her first concert ever which she absolutely loved. On Friday I worked out inside then went downtown with the family to watch the Tour of Utah in 100 degree heat. Saturday was pretty mellow and I just watched the tour from home and worked in the yard. On Sunday we drove up to Guardsman’s Pass and watched the final stage, the weather was perfect. Then we dropped into Park City and had dinner there.

Seneca at her first concert, at Red Butte with Wang Chung and When in Rome

Seneca has been so amazing lately, learning lots of new words and just being a cute little bug. She is so entertaining and loves to play, laugh and make us laugh. She loves her fairies and wants to ride a bike so bad. Lately she has said many new words including “grandpa, grandma, bike, wheel, tickle”.

Bonding with my baby girl

We just got back from our annual Lamb Days camping trip and it was so nice to be able to have so much time with my family. I’ve been having such an amazing time bonding with my little girl and she just wants me to hold her every where I go. On our trip there were so many great times when I could just hold her in my arms and she would lay her head down on my chest. Absolutely priceless. The other day I was out watering the lawn and I sat down on a rock and she came up next to me and sat down, then I put my arm around her and kissed her little head and just savored the moment.

We got back from our trip mid day yesterday and I spent some time with her out in the garden. She hung out with me as I gardened and weeded and watered. She would come up and play in the water that I sprayed on the lawn or come up and jump on my back, or even help me put some of the weeds in a bucket.

I’ve also been taking he her to her second round of parent lead swim classes. I got this as a gift for fathers day. I like to sing the songs to her even out of the pool. She likes to hold her baby dolls and say “side side” ( side to side). At lamb days Angie got her a cute lamb beanie and knitted octopus.

On the legal front we’ve gotten a protective order against Sherrie and now taken the fight to her. Work has been better, not as much of a struggle as last year but definitely harder than the past. I’ve been spending a lot of time learning about stocks instead of wasting time on social media. The portfolio is growing nicely but I since a storm brewing and I’m trying to mentally prepare for it.

It’s been a great summer so far but the best is just savoring every second I have with my daughter. I’m so thankful that I have the wisdom to understand how fast time goes by so I am spending as much time as I can with my kids.

July cometh

Wow, summer is really 1/3 over already? So far the last few months I’ve been so consumed with ways to save money and building a dividend portfolio. I’ve been spending countless hours researching dividend paying stocks as well as reading a lot of books and putting money away. It’s been so fun seeing the growth in my portfolio in such a short amount of time. It’s hard to believe that in 4.5 years I’ve gone from being in debt to having a solid net worth and such good momentum. I feel much wiser and more patient but still have so much to learn, yet have learnt so much from past mistakes. I feel that we’ve had such a strong market over the last 9 years that soon we will have a major correction so I keep that in mind an plan for that.

Seneca had been an absolute joy to be around, she is so fun to play with and I spend as much time as I can with her. She is trying to talk a lot and it’s so fun hearing her babble all the time. She says new words and it’s hard to keep up with them. I took her to the zoo yesterday and she was so excited to see the ‘big birds’ and elephants and giraffe. She loves to wrestle with me, she makes cute growling sounds, she loves water and chasing bubbles. She sleeps well at night and is the best baby I can imagine. I try to savor every second with her knowing just how fast time goes by.

Other recent things include trying to adopt Liam and sever parental rights. We also celebrated our 5th year anniversary and had a beautiful party on our patio. I’ve been riding quite a bit but no racing so I can save money. This week I have my sister coming to stay with us for the 4th of July. Work has been a fight but I love my job and my team, I find it engaging and have a better attitude than last year when I was struggling.

Seneca at 18 Months

A couple weeks ago, Seneca reached 18 months. She’s still very petite at 19 pounds 4 oz and 30.5 inches tall. She still fits in some of her 6 and 9 month clothes from last summer and loves to swing in her baby swing. Her vocabulary is light, but she communicates well using signs and she’s becoming more vocal every day. She loves swimming, going for walks, playing in dirt, smelling flowers, shoes, lotion, Moana, Frozen, Meow Meow, and her family. She loves to eat avocados, spinach, eggs, plain yogurt, fish, pineapple, strawberries, and sweet pea snacks. Her eyes are gray-green, she has 12 teeth, and she’s a great sleeper.

It’s been 5 months now that I’ve put her to bed every night and it’s my favorite part of the day. I get to savor every second she is in my arms and she goes down without a fuss. Sadly, we’ve gotten to the point where I need to wean her off the  bottle so instead of letting her lay in my arms with a bottle then a binkie, we watch Moana or Frozen for a few songs and then I gently lay her down and play with her for a few minutes then let her go to sleep. She has the most amazing personality that I just love. Her newest words are ‘buh…buh…buh…” when she says bubble or ball, and she likes to say ‘baby’.

April 2018

I’ve been getting back into my interest in investing and reading lots of books as well as putting money away in dividend paying stocks. I’ve been having fun building spreadsheets and calculations for retirement as well as researching stocks. I haven’t felt as strong on the bike as I have in the past so I’ve been spending more time doing other things like Jiu Jitsu and working on home projects.

Liam is getting so smart, he is drawing and spelling things, he makes cute pictures for us as a family. Work has been a bit of a slump but I’ve been in a good mindset and having a positive attitude. I feel good about the challenges ahead and the growth that will come.